Coronavirus: Leicester’s salons and nail bars can reopen – but lockdown to continue

Leicester’s nail bars and salons can reopen from tomorrow, but health officials have warned that “infection rates remain too high” for the local lockdown to be fully lifted.

Outdoor swimming pools will also be allowed to start accepting customers – as can spas, tanning booths, and massage and tattoo parlours.

However, people in the area have been told gatherings in homes and gardens with anyone they have not formed a “support bubble” with continue to be prohibited.

The gradual lifting of measures comes seven weeks after the city was placed back on a stricter lockdown on 30 June due to a spike of cases

“My gratitude goes out to the people of Leicester who have all made sacrifices to keep the virus at bay and protect their local communities,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

He added that the rate of infection needs to be brought down further, and urged everyone in Leicester to continue following the rules by social distancing and washing their hands regularly.

The government says local restrictions are kept under constant review as part of a “proportionate yet robust” response to the pandemic – and where possible, it will remove restrictions in individual areas that have seen a marked improvement.

People who are shielding in Leicester will now be able to meet in a group of up to six people outdoors – including people from different households – as long as “strict social distancing” is in force.

Coronavirus restrictions were relaxed across much of England on Saturday – meaning casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks could reopen – but this does not apply to Leicester.

The East Midlands city was the first to be placed under a local lockdown as the rest of the nation had measures eased.

It was imposed after Leicester accounted for 10% of all positive coronavirus cases reported across the country in the week up to 30 June.

The city had 135 cases per 100,000 people – three times the amount of infections in the next highest city.

A walk-in testing centre was set up for people with symptoms and extra funding was given to all Leicestershire councils to help support businesses and those forced to self-isolate.

When the lockdown was imposed, Mr Hancock said the measures would be reviewed in two weeks and would not be in place “any longer than necessary”.

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